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Tag ‘Transport’

EU moves to end impunity for dangerous drivers but some media speed to wrong conclusion

Friday, January 27th, 2017
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New EU rules adopted by national ministers and the European Parliament mean people can no longer easily avoid paying fines imposed on them for driving dangerously in other EU member states than their own. This EU framework applies to all member states equally. There is no “quirk of EU law” discriminating in some way against British drivers as some UK media claim. If the UK authorities choose not to pursue non-resident offenders, that is up to them. Neither are there any “EU-imposed fines” (The Times) or “hefty EU speeding fines” (Daily Express). Each member state is in full control of its traffic rules and levels of fines or other sanctions.

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No “new regulations from Brussels” on UK train fares

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
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Recent reports in the media claiming that rail users “are facing fare rises of 50 per cent, forced through by new regulations from Brussels” are on the wrong track.  The price of train tickets are a matter for the rail companies and national authorities.

The cited Commission white paper on transport, published in March, is a long term strategy to safeguard Europe’s transport future and ensure the sustainability of this key sector of the economy. The White Paper makes no new rules or regulations.

Transport cannot develop by relying on “business as usual”. The paper takes a global look at developments in the transport sector, at its future challenges and at the policy initiatives that would need to be considered in order to meet the challenges posed by, for instance, scarce oil, increasing congestion and reducing emissions.

Transport infrastructure across the EU has a funding gap that will need to be filled in order to meet the cost of an increasing demand for transport. A range of sources of finance both from public (EU, national and regional governments) and private (financial institutions and corporate) sources will be required.

As always, EU ministers and MEPs have the opportunity to debate and make comments.  In June, Member States ministers welcomed the white paper as a comprehensive contribution to achieving the EU’s environmental goals, tackling the dependence on oil and completing the internal market. MEPs have yet to debate the paper.

Black boxes – EU wants one in every car

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
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EU to police drivers with black boxes (The Times, 1 November 2009)

THE European Union is drawing up plans for aircraft-style black box recorders to be fitted to all cars to help the police identify who is responsible for crashes. A £2.4m, three-year study commissioned by the European commission’s transport arm has recommended the mandatory installation of the boxes in all cars.

Don’t bet your car on this! It’s wrong – there are no such proposals. The study quoted is a piece of researchand the opinions in it represent the views of the consultants who carried it out.

Driven crazy by barmy bus driver Brussels ruling

Thursday, January 7th, 1999
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The Sun, Thursday, 7 January 1999, p15
Grandma Lilian Brunton is being driven round the bend by daft new EU rules for bus drivers. They mean she has to get off her bus halfway through her journey – then go to the back of the queue to get back on … the potty new EU regulation … states that drivers on routes more than 30 miles should work shorter hours and have longer breaks.

“The splitting of the 484 bus route in West Yorkshire is daft. But there is no “potty new EU regulation” that has caused it, and there are certainly no EU rules saying how long a bus route may be.
The EU rules agreed by Ministers in 1985 generally requires that drivers of buses shall drive no more than 9 hours a day on average, and that drivers on bus routes of less than 30 miles in length may work an average 10 hour day.
The reason for this rule is clearly road and passenger safety. Fatigue is the biggest cause of road accidents and it is vitally important that bus drivers, who may be transporting up to 70 passengers, are alert throughout their working day. The rules, therefore, require adequate rest periods for drivers during the day and a reasonable maximum working day. Obviously, the longer a journey the more likely the driver is to get tired – hence a shorter working day for drivers on routes over 30 miles long. However, this rules does not stipulate in any way that bus routes cannot be more than 30 miles in length.
It is the bus operator, Arriva, that has decided that passengers should have to get off the bus halfway through the journey, since it is Arriva that wants drivers to work more than 9 hours a day on this route. The company has already tried a similar tactic on its 685 Newcastle-Carlisle bus service which it split into three to try and get more working hours out of its drivers.”
Letter by Neil Kinnock, European Transport Commissioner to The Sun, 7 January 1999

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